Sunderland’s bid to offload the dead-wood could be boosted by the exit of Santiago Vergini, with the out-of-favour defender an option for Argentine giants Boca Juniors.
Vergini is due back at the Academy of Light next month after a season-long loan spell at Spanish side Getafe failed to materialise into a permanent switch when they were relegated from La Liga.
Sunderland were duty-bound to sign Vergini last summer despite the departure of chief admirer Gus Poyet, yet then head coach Dick Advocaat immediately moved him on to Getafe and he is highly unlikely to have a future under Sam Allardyce either, despite the Black Cats being in the market for a new central defender.
However, Boca are understood to be considering Vergini as a possibility to improve their defensive ranks after missing out on Paraguay international Gustavo Gomez.
Vergini’s versatility is thought to appeal to Boca, with the 27-year-old able to operate at either right-back or centre-half, and they are considering a season-long loan, with a view to a permanent switch.
Boca are one of the few Argentine clubs who would have the financial weight to cover Vergini’s Sunderland wages after his former employers, Newell’s Old Boys, were unable to put a deal together last summer, prior to his move to Getafe.
There has been plenty of speculation in Spain that Real Betis could move for Vergini after the appointment of ex-Sunderland head coach Poyet.
But it is understood that, at this stage, there is nothing concrete behind the rumours.
Vergini is one of a host of players that Allardyce must find new homes for, to free up a sizeable chunk of funds on Sunderland’s wage bill.
Adam Matthews, Liam Bridcutt, Will Buckley, Charis Mavrias, Jordi Gomez and Emanuele Giaccherini are all in the same category, albeit there is significant interest from Italy in the latter.
Meanwhile, released Sunderland striker Mikael Mandron has agreed a two-year deal at National League outfit Eastleigh.
Sunderland opted against handing the academy product Mandron a new contract last month and, after interest from several Football League outfits, the 21-year-old has decided to move to the south coast.